A record 23,000 people participated in the 11th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The four mile walk in Balboa Park sought to raise money for research and awareness of breast cancer.
From the starting line onto the Cabrillo Bridge, it was shuffling room only. People wore pink hats, wigs, boas, all in tribute to those who lost their lives and survived breast cancer. With such a serious issue, the crowd was upbeat. "You can see these teams of family and friend to support their loved ones who have battled this disease and it's really a celebration of life and hope," said Jennifer Berg, Executive Director of Making strides Against Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer survivors wore medals showing how many years have passed since they were diagnosed. One survivor of 14 years who only described herself as Penny, said she was amazed at how the event has grown. She is one of the survivors who also counsels those newly diagnosed with breast cancer. "The women see us as survivors when we come out to visit them in their homes. And that gives them hope," said Penny.
Raising cash has been tough, especially in current economic times. Event organizers said they raised just under $1 million, which is shy of their goal.
NBC 7/39's team Peacock Pride participated in the event, raising over $17,000 dollars. Team leader Joy Malaise said the dynamics of getting donations has changed this year. "Some of the donations are smaller but there are more people on our team, so that's how we've been able to do it," said Malaise.